Monday, December 30, 2013

Maid of the Mist

When I think of Niagara Falls, I automatically think of the Maid of the Mist.  This boat tour takes you into the very heart of the waterfalls...literally!

At the end of our trolley ride, we walked over to get in line for the Maid of the Mist.  There were a few people ahead of us, but not so many that we had to wait for another boat (love going in the off season!).

Once on the boat, I suddenly realized that some of the kids might get sea sick... Nah!  The boat was rolling quite a bit from the waves the falls make, but I think everyone was simply too excited to be affected by it :). 

sillies :)

We found a great spot on the top deck...and away we went...

First we passed the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.  There was a steady, wet breeze blowing off of these falls for sure.  It was such an odd experience to go from dry and no breeze to suddenly the opposite!

the wind was puffing out their ponchos!

the Cave of the Winds boardwalk

After a short lull, we approached Horseshoe Falls.  Whoa!  Talk about strong winds!  To say the breeze was wet was a definite understatement...more like a fierce gale with not mist, but rain!  From the falls!  It was awesome :)!!

The boat got right up close to the waterfall and just stayed there for a while, giving everyone a chance to really experience the force of God's mighty creation...

It ended all too quickly and at the same time it was just the right length.  We got a good feel of it, but left still wanting more :). 

**a quick tip that was passed on to us...we went to the Cave of the Winds first for a reason:  the shoes!  You get to keep the water sandals they give you at the cave, so we kept those on for our boat ride as well.  Your feet get soaked on the boat, so having these extra shoes was nice!**

After the boat docked, we got off, once again tossed the poncho in the recycling bin provided, and took the elevator up to the top of the viewing area that is included with the boat tour.

If you aren't going over to the Canadian side (we didn't), this is the only place (that I know of) to take in the view of all three falls at the same time...

The sun was going down and taking the temperatures with it.  Our sandaled feet were getting cold and our tummies were empty, time to get something to eat and call it a day :).
The next morning we were up bright and early, our first stop of the day was the visitor center.  The Discovery Pack we bought included tickets for the Niagara Adventure Movie.  We got there a little too early, so we browsed around the visitor center while we waited.  There was some really interesting information about the history of the falls that we good, in fact, that I would not recommend buying tickets for this movie.  It was pretty much just the same thing you can get for free by reading the stuff right outside the theater door!  Haha!  Oh well :).

When the movie was done, we loaded up and took a short drive over to another place that was included in our ticket pack... Aquarium of Niagara (I didn't even know they had an aquarium, did you?).  This aquarium was really (really) small, but still fun.  We got there just as the Sea Lion Show was starting and boy am I glad we did :)!  Hands down the highlight of the aquarium.

The sea lions they have there are rescues that were unable to be reintroduced to their native habitats.  They have no place else to go.

Judging from their playfulness and the amount of fishy treats they were gobbling down, I'd say they have it pretty good there :)...

We checked out the rest of the facility...the other exhibits were ok, but nothing compared to the sea lions :).

Then it was time to hit the stop, Vermont! 

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